New Jersey in last-ditch vote on gay marriage

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New Jersey’s Senate will vote tomorrow on gay marriage in a final attempt to pass the bill before a new governor takes office.

A vote was cancelled in early December after Democrats were reportedly concerned the bill did not have enough votes to pass.

Outgoing governor Jim Corzine has said he will sign the bill but his successor Chris Christie takes over later on January 19th and has made his opposition to gay marriage clear.

If successful in the Senate, the bill must pass the Assembly before going for governor approval.

Twenty-one votes are needed to pass the bill.

Voting is likely to be close, although many senators have declined to state their views.

In December, only 13 senators had publicly said they would support the bill. Eighteen were opposed while the other nine had not given their views.

New Jersey’s gay rights group, Garden State Equality, is planning a march in front of the Statehouse tomorrow morning before senators cast their votes.

Chair Steve Goldsmith told the Star-Ledger he expected 1,000 people to attend.

New Jersey currently offers civil unions but if passed, this bill would make New Jersey the sixth US state where gay marriage is legal.

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Iowa and Vermont give gay couples the right to marry.